Haryana suggests inter-city body for Chandigarh tri-city; Punjab rejects it

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Chandigarh, July 10 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday categorically rejected his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar’s suggestion to set up a Tri-city Planning Board for Chandigarh and its adjoining towns of Panchkula and Mohali, saying Chandigarh indisputably belonged to Punjab.

Taking a strong stand on the issue, which Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore also endorsed by saying that coordination on the tri-city development related issues was already being done, he said there was no question of agreeing to Khattar’s proposal.

Both the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana and the Punjab Governor, who is also the Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, were speaking at an event here on Tuesday.

Khattar had suggested that an effective mechanism be put in place through mutual co-operation to ensure development of the tri-city comprising Panchkula, Chandigarh and Mohali, and to resolve the issues affecting the lives of people in these cities.

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He said he had written a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, impressing upon him the need and urgency to create a statutorily empowered and dedicated board or authority for homogeneous development of the tri-city region.

“I would also write a letter to the Punjab Chief Minister in this regard. A tri-city Planning Board should be constituted for the tri-city on the pattern of the National Capital Region (NCR) Planning Board for the development of the three cities, especially infrastructure,” Khattar said.

Both Punjab and Haryana have been locked, since 1966 when Haryana was created, in a bitter political war laying claim over Chandigarh. Punjab claims the city as its capital. Both states are also locked in a bitter battle over sharing of river water.

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Amarinder Singh asserted that Punjab, being the only state without a capital, had a historical right over Chandigarh.

“Various accords in the past had given Chandigarh to Punjab but they were, unfortunately, not implemented,” he pointed out.

Both Amarinder Singh and Badnore also rejected the suggestion of an NCR-type Greater Chandigarh Metropolitan Region, treating the entire tricity as the capital of Punjab and Haryana.

–IANS

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